Updated: Apr 29
I love hillforts, me. I used to live close to Cadbury Castle in South Somerset and I was taken absolutely with the mystery of them. See, nobody really knew what they were for, and to be honest, they're still trying to figure them out. It's great...these big old hills, with their ramparts of varrying size, number and depth and with nothing but shadows of a presence within them. Great stuff. I went to university to study them, making the mistake of thinking that what I really wanted was to understand them. But, who doesn't like a mystery? Historians and archaeologists try to puzzle them out, I tried to puzzle them out, as if you're going to thank us for it.
See, hillforts, all along the border between England and Wales, the West Country and yes, yes, elsewhere, are like empty vessels within which are poured the waters of myth and legend. Of course, Cadbury Castle not far from Yeovil in Somerset is Camelot. Yes it is, and you won't convince me otherwise, because I don't want to hear it. It's Camelot and Arthur rode down from its ramparts to victory at Mount Badon, and rests still beneath its fallen walls. And when I climbed that hill, I was climbing into the past, I was climbing into Camelot. I went full John Boorman (and yes, Excalibur is by far the best Arthurian film adaption ever made, and Nicol Williamson is Merlin, I don't care what his psychiatrist says).
But what's this? Moel Arthur. A hillfort in the Clywdians which bears his name? Well, that's just super. Now, I have to do some thinking, right? What's this you say? Excalibur lies somewhere beneath the heather? No, you don't say. Treasure buried, it's position betrayed only by moonbeams? A Grey Lady haunting the ramparts?
Moel Arthur, Ladies and Gentlemen. A miracle of heather and mystery.